LACAN ON THE INCLINATION TOWARD TERROR, MANIA, DEPRESSION, AND HALLUCINATORY STATES
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019, 9am – 4pm
Panelists: Marcus Coelen, PhD (Introduction), Derek Hook, PhD,
Geneviève Morel, PhD, and Stijn Vanheule, PhD
(Jamieson Webster, PhD and Anna Fishzon, PhD, moderators)
General admission: $150, with 5 CE credits
Candidates and Students: $40, with 5 CE credits
No other post-Freudian theorist has taken a more radical, almost categorical, view of psychosis than Jacques Lacan. His early experience of psychiatric training under Clérambault and at the Sainte-Anne Hospital had a profound impact on his reading of Freud. Lacan’s theories of psychosis have led to innovations around technique and the analytic setting that are little known in the United States. If psychosis is not on a spectrum with neurosis as a Kleinian, for example, might view it, then what implications does this have for thinking about patients “on the verge?” Where and how might we locate the question of madness in classical analysis using Lacanian theory and technique? Join us for the second meeting of our two-part series where we will discuss what Lacan called psychosis proper: the extreme mechanisms that set the stage for psychotic breaks, delusion, and paranoia.
1) Participants will gain an understanding of Lacan’s approach to diagnostic structure, especially his differentiation of psychosis from neurosis.
2) Participants will assimilate Lacanian clinical perspectives on breakdown and hallucinatory depression, as well psychotic mechanisms like delusion and mania.
3) Participants will learn about potential connections between psychosis and terrorism.
9:20—9:50am Marcus Coelen, introduction to Lacanian psychotic structure and
the concept of the sinthome
9:50—10:00am Discussion with the audience and Dr. Coelen
10:00—10:45am Stijn Vanheule, “Working-through and the Process of
Stabilization in a Case of Manic-depressive Psychosis”
10:45—11:00am Discussion with the audience and Dr. Vanheule, moderated by
Anna Fishzon and Jamieson Webster
11:00—11:15am COFFEE BREAK
11:15am—noon Geneviève Morel, “The Feminine Ideal and Suicidal Tendencies
of a Young American Revolutionary: The Case of Susan Stern
noon—12:30pm Discussion with speakers and the audience, moderated by Dr.
2:00—2:45pm Derek Hook, “Twilight Scenes: Reveries of Death in
2:45—3:20pm Panel discussion with all 4 presenters and Drs. Webster and
3:20–4:00pm Discussion with audience
Stijn Vanheule, Working-through and the Process of Stabilization in a Case of Manic-depressive Psychosis
Starting from a case of manic-depressive psychosis Stijn Vanheule will explore basic Lacanian tenets on psychosis, including foreclosure, the volatile status of object a in manic-depressive psychosis, and stabilization through the creation of a sinthome. Special attention will be paid to how in the treatment of this patient transference took shape and could be handled, to the status of painful memories, and to how a process of working-through was effectuated. The latter will be discussed in terms of a changing position toward jouissance-laden situations.
Geneviève Morel, The Feminine Ideal and Suicidal Tendencies of a Young American Revolutionary: The Case of Susan Stern Sham
To better understand why some of today’s youth are driven to jihadist terrorism, the memoirs of Susan Stern, a member of the Weathermen (a clandestine and terrorist revolutionary movement of the early 1970s in the US) are exemplary because they highlight the importance and function of ideals. This young woman was in search of a solution to a serious existential gap, perhaps psychotic. She was divided between her drives, the violence of which was condemned even by her revolutionary comrades, and her feminine ideal. She hoped to recover or perhaps fabricate an identity by covering this division with an ideal image that is both political and feminine. Geneviève Morel will show how this process was undermined by her refusal to obey leadership, resulting in her exclusion from the Weathermen, and thus repeating a childhood abandonment, with suicidal consequences. Her case shows that ideology is not all-powerful and that the individual who submits to it actively accepts it; it is therefore possible to resist it. Finally, it allows the close examination of questions regarding the objective of extremist violence: to die to kill, that is to say, an altruistic suicide in Durkheim’s sense (as Robert Pape assumes) or to kill to die, that is, indirect suicide?
Derek Hook, Twilight Scenes: Reveries of Death in Melancholia
Relative to the ‘noisier’ symptoms of schizophrenic psychosis (delusions, hallucinations), melancholia might be considered a quiet form of psychosis, apart that is, from the delusional certainty of the melancholic subject’s worthlessness. Making extended reference to clinical work with a melancholic patient, this paper will focus on a series of ‘twilight scenes,’ reveries of death and the beyond of death that, paradoxically, sustained a patient through an intensely suicidal period. The scenes in question—their beguiling, imaginative reveries—cannot, technically, be considered either fantasmatic nor hallucinatory in nature. They give the lie to the impression that melancholia is invariably a quiet psychosis.
Marcus Coelen, PhD is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York and Berlin. He also teaches literature and literary theory, currently holding an appointment at the Psychoanalytic Studies Program at Columbia University. He has translated into German and edited several volumes of texts by the French novelist and theoretician Maurice Blanchot. Publications include: With Mark Hewson, Georges Bataille – Key Concepts (Routledge, 2016). He is currently preparing, together with Jamieson Webster, The Cambridge Introduction to Jacques Lacan.
Anna Fishzon, PhD is an advanced candidate at IPTAR and author of Fandom, Authenticity, and Opera: Mad Acts and Letter Scenes in Fin-de-siècle Russia (Palgrave, 2013). Her articles have appeared in Slavic Review, Kritika, Slavic and East European Journal, and other scholarly publications. She is co-editing The Queerness of Childhood: Essays from the Other Side of the Looking Glass (Palgrave, forthcoming) with Emma Lieber. She is cohost of the podcast New Books in Psychoanalysis and Editor, The Candidate Journal: Psychoanalytic Currents.
Derek Hook, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and is the author of Six Moments in Lacan and the co-editor (along with Stijn Vanheule and Calum Neill) of the landmark Reading Lacan’s Écrits series published by Routledge. He is also the co-editor of the Palgrave Lacan Series (with Calum Neill). A former trainee of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research in London, he is a clinical supervisor and practitioner at the Duquesne University Psychology Clinic.
Geneviève Morel, PhD is a psychoanalyst in Paris and Lille. She studied mathematics in L’Ecole Normale Supérieure and is Doctor in Psychology. Her books include: Ambiguïtés sexuelles. Sexuation et psychose, (Anthropos, 2000), Sexual Ambiguities (Karnac-London, 2011), Clinique du suicide (Érès, 2010), L’œuvre de Freud. L’invention de la psychanalyse (Bréal, 2006), La loi de la mère. Essai sur le sinthome sexuel (Anthropos, 2008), Das Gesetz der Mutter (Wien, Turia-Kant, 2017), The Law of the Mother (Routledge, London, 2018) Pantallas y suenos. Ensayos psicoanaliticos sobre la imagen en movimiento (Barcelona, ediciones S&P, 2011). Terroristes. Les raisons intimes d’un fléau global (Paris, Fayard, 2018). She is Member of CRIMIC (Paris-Sorbonne) and CFAR (London), President of Savoirs et clinique and Collège de Psychanalystes- A.l.e.p.h. Dr. Morel directs a clinical seminar in l’UHSA (CHU-Lille).
Stijn Vanheule, PhD is professor of psychoanalysis and clinical psychology, and chair of the Ghent University Department of Psychoanalysis. He is a psychoanalyst in private practice, member of the New Lacanian School and World Association of Psychoanalysis. He is the author of numerous papers and books, including The Subject of Psychosis—A Lacanian Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Psychiatric Diagnosis Revisited—From DSM to Clinical Case Formulation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
Jamieson Webster, PhD is a psychoanalyst based in New York. She has written for Artforum, Apology, Cabinet, the Guardian, Playboy, Spike Art Quarterly, the New York Review of Books and the New York Times. She is the author of Conversion Disorder: Listening to the Body in Psychoanalysis (Columbia UP, 2018); Stay, Illusion!: The Hamlet Doctrine, with Simon Critchley (Pantheon, 2013); and The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis (Karnac, 2011). With Marcus Coelen, she is currently working on The Cambridge Introduction to Jacques Lacan.
Many thanks from the IPTAR Program Committee: Jeanne Even (Chair), Eva Atsalis, Carolyn Ellman, Susan Finkelstein, Anna Fishzon, Lynne Herbst, Judy Ann Kaplan, Masha Mimran, Jamieson Webster.
Poster designed by Nancy de Holl
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(5) CE credits will be granted to participants who have registered, have documented evidence of attendance of the entire program and have completed the on-line evaluation form. Upon completion of the evaluation form a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to all participants who comply with these requirements.